The two guys in the above image should look like they’re ready to party-hearty.
It was a big day and should have been a happy occasion.
Instead, the guy on left – arms crossed, tense, with a surly – even belligerent – expression, does not look like he’s about to don a party hat and hoist a brewski.
The guy on the right – shoulders bowed, eyes lowered – looks like he’s reading a eulogy at his best friend’s funeral.
It was Monday, August 29.
The men are San Diego State University (SDSU) head football coach Brady Hoke (left), and athletic director John David Wicker.
The occasion was a news conference ahead of the Saturday, September 3 start of SDSU’s 100th football season – certainly something to celebrate.
And the game will be played in SDSU’s brand-new $310 million Snapdragon Stadium:
Yet another reason to celebrate.
But Hoke and Wicker weren’t celebrating:
In fact, Hoke looked as if he was about to leap off his chair and throttle the reporter who’s asking a question.
Hoke and Wicker didn’t like the questions that reporters were asking.
The reporters were asking about a local story that’s now gone national:
“Gang rape allegation.”
Gang rape allegations against members of SDSU’s football team.
As the reporters persisted, Hoke and Wicker abruptly got up and walked out of the news conference:
Guys, great example you’re setting for the SDSU students who look to you for leadership.
Instead of answering the tough questions, you ducked them.
When the going got tough, the tough got going – out the door.
According to this story:
“Monday’s sit-down with Wicker, Hoke and several reporters started with Wicker and Hoke issuing statements regarding the allegations. A school official said the two men would not take questions about the incident, but would talk about football and the upcoming season.”
“But after the statement, the news conference grew heated, with reporters repeatedly asking questions about who knew what about the alleged rape and when, and why the school did not move to address the matter internally. Wicker and Hoke then walked out.
“About 15 minutes later, Wicker returned and answered questions related to the allegations.”
I’ll give Wicker some – but not a lot of – credit for returning.
What are the allegations against the SDSU football players?
That multiple SDSU football players gang raped a 17-year-old girl in October 2021.
According to the Union-Tribune:
“News of the rape allegations became public when the Los Angeles Times broke the story in June.”
Much of the media attention is focused on – and suggesting a possible SDSU cover-up of – the alleged gang rape. Of prioritizing protection of its football team over the possible harm done by some of its players.
When questions about that were raised at the August 29 news conference, Hoke and Wicker walked out.
That story made headlines, too:
Not a good look.
And at the big game on Saturday, if reporters ask Hoke and Wicker more of those #&@!#%!* questions…
Will they walk out again?
This story will continue to play out in the local, national and international media for months.
It’s got all the elements of headline news: a high-profile football team, big money involved, alleged gang rape of an underage girl by multiple football players…
And as that happens, I hope San Diego State University will put on a better face than the two the guys whose first impulse, when they couldn’t stand the heat…
Was to get out of the kitchen: